We believe that opposites attract, right? How many romance novels can you name that prove it to be true?
Don’t mind me. I’m just sitting over here sorting my writings…
Because ‘opposites attract’ is a time-honored trope right up there with ‘second chances’ and ‘friends to more,’ and I’ve written my share of them, with more to come.
Did you go ask Google the title question? I did. And apparently it is a myth, but more than 80% of us believe it’s true!
But, wait! It’s not all or nothing.
There are opposing traits that break relationships:
• What you believe
• Where you live
And there are opposing traits that might just keep you on your toes:
• Introverts vs extroverts
• Academic vs blue collar
• Prankster vs serious
And there are opposing traits that might be just mildly amusing:
• Smooth peanut butter vs crunchy
• Toilet paper over vs under
So… where did this myth come from? No one knows, but it’s been around at least 150 years, so writers are in good company using it. And, ahem, propagating it for more people to believe!
In Joys of Juniper, Ava and Seth are opposites in several ways.
• She never rebelled against her loving parents, while he didn’t feel loved and lived a wild life for ten years.
• She has a teaching degree, while he’s a college dropout. Twice over.
• She wishes she could get more hours at her dream job, while he wishes he could get any job at all.
• Her faith has never been deeply challenged, while his has been through the wringer.
What do they have in common?
• A love for music and dancing
• A love for kids… and that turns out to be a good thing
• A love for gardening and cooking
• A love for Jesus
Ava Santoro knows who she’s looking for in Mr. Perfectly Right, and a devout young minister would be just the thing. If not a minister, at least someone who is gentle and bookish. Someone who has it all together.
Definitely not someone like Seth Donahue. Ava’s not looking for a project. Seth doesn’t want to be a project, but his life has totally unraveled. So what will draw them together?
Because all those studies I found while searching “do opposites really attract?” showed that, for long-term stability, couples need many commonalities. What keeps us/them together must be greater than what divides us.
One article says, “Contrasts tend to stand out. Even if the partners in a couple match on tons of characteristics, they may end up arguing about the ways in which they are different.”
A 2013 study by Eharmony mirrored these findings. “An investigation of the matchmaking site’s matching system results showed that even when opposites are initially attracted, it is similarities that make for a long-term relationship.”
Joys of Juniper, book 11 in the Urban Farm Fresh Romance series, releases on Tuesday! If you haven’t snagged your copy yet, you might want to do that while the 25% off pre-order price is in place. Or, if you prefer reading on Kindle Unlimited, make a note to check for it on Tuesday.
Worried about reading this story when you might not have read all the ones before it? I work really hard at making every story able to stand on its own, so don’t let “book 11” scare you!
So, what do you think? Comment with a this-versus-that difference and tell me whether it’s a deal-breaker difference, interesting, or mildly amusing to you! Maybe I’ll get some ideas for my next opposites-attract novel, because there definitely will be one. Who am I to scoff at one of the greatest romance tropes… even though it’s proven to be inaccurate?
Top two images were found on Pixabay.